Roast Squab with Honey-Orange Gremolata
D'Artagnan chef bio | Yield: 4
Squab is a versatile game bird that should become a regular part of anyone’s menu. Squab has darker meat than domestic poultry, with a very delicate flavor, and subtle richness that combines well with fruits. This recipe from Tony Caggiano brings together a bit of sweetness, and crisp skin prepared to juicy doneness that pairs perfectly with the bright flavors of the gremolata.
- 1 stick butter (softened to room temperature)
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley - minced
- 1 tablespoon honey
- zest of 1 orange (reserve orange, cut into 8ths)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh ground pepper (to taste)
- 4 squab
- additional tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- red pepper flakes (to taste)
- Make the gremolata. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Add red pepper flakes to taste; even a little bit will make the flavor of the gremolata come alive.
- Stir again to combine. Add more oil as needed, to get desired consistency. The gremolata can be made beforehand and refrigerated, as it gets even better with a bit of time.
- Heat oven to 450 F.
- Rinse the squab, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry and set aside.
- In a large glass mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, salt, and pepper and whisk well to combine.
- Mix together butter, parsley, honey, orange zest, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper until smooth. Divide into 4 even portions.
- Using your fingers, carefully loosen the skin of the squabs around the breast and legs.
- Insert a portion of the butter mixture under the skin of the squab, layering it on the breast meat and between the legs.
- Place an orange section inside the body cavity of each squab.
- Tie the legs of each squab together with kitchen string. Then repeat with each squab.
- Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the remaining butter and the olive oil to the hot pan.
- Add the squab and brown on all sides.
- Turn squab breast up and place the pan in the hot oven.
- Roast for 15 minutes and then check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer.
- Cook to 145 degrees, then remove squab from oven, place on a platter, and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Place one squab on each plate, and top with a generous portion of honey-orange gremolata.